Political Structure and Change in the Prehistoric Southeastern United States / Edition 1

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Overview

"We now realize that to understand the origin of the state, we must first understand the development of the chiefdom.  And nowhere in the world is the study of chiefdoms being pursued as vigorously as in the Southeast.  Combining tantalizing bits of ethnohistory with painstaking archaeology, the scholars of this region are adding greatly to our understanding of the chiefdom as a political form.  The present volume, which is the work of outstanding specialists in the region, is a striking example of the rich fruit being yielded by this research."--Robert L. Carneiro, Curator of  Anthropology, American Museum of Natural History      
"A major step forward in the history of work on Mississippian culture. . . . This book is a must for those interested in the period--and highly recommended for archaeologists who are not southeasterners."--James A. Brown, Northwestern University
"will do blurb after seeing page proofs"--Robert Carneiro, American Museum of Natural History The great societies that flourished during the late Precolumbian period--called Mississippian chiefdoms--disappeared shortly after European contact, leaving a legacy across the southeastern United States. This book presents up-to-date information about their political structures, offering new perspectives on "cycling"--the growth, collapse, and reappearance of chiefdoms.
 Using archaeological discoveries and historical documents, the book documents the dynamic and varied nature of chiefdoms and explains why they evolved the way they did. It illustrates the value of studies of the Mississippian societies for addressing general anthropological questions.
Contents Part I. Introduction
1. Looking for and at Mississippian Political Change, by John F. Scarry
2. The Nature of Mississippian Societies, by John F. Scarry Part II. Structure and Change in Mississippian Societies
3. Development and Dissolution of a Mississippian Society in the American Bottom, Illinois, by George R. Milner
4. Markers of Social Integration: The Development of Centralized Authority in the Spiro Region, by J. Daniel Rogers
5. Control over Goods and the Political Stability of the Moundville Chiefdom, by Paul D. Welch
6. Platform-Mound Construction and the Instability of Mississippian Chiefdoms, by David J. Hally
7. Mississippian Political Dynamics in the Oconee Valley, Georgia, by Mark Williams and Gary Shapiro
8. Chiefly Cycling and Large-Scale Abandonments as Viewed from the Savannah River Basin, by David G. Anderson
9. Stability and Change in the Apalachee Chiefdom, by John F. Scarry Part III. Chiefly Politics and the Mississippian Societies
10. Fluctuations Between Simple and Complex Chiefdoms: Cycling in the Late Prehistoric Southeast, by David G. Anderson John F. Scarry is research associate and research assistant professor of anthropology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He is the coauthor of San Pedro y San Pablo de Patale: A Seventeenth-Century Spanish Mission in Leon County, Florida, and has written numerous book chapters and articles for publications such as The Florida Anthropologist, Southeastern Archaeology, and Southeastern Archaeological Conference Bulletin.

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Product Details

Table of Contents

List of Figures
List of Tables
Foreword
Ch. 1 Looking for and at Mississippian Political Change 3
Ch. 2 The Nature of Mississippian Societies 12
Ch. 3 Development and Dissolution of a Mississippian Society in the American Bottom, Illinois 27
Ch. 4 Markers of Social Integration: The Development of Centralized Authority in the Spiro Region 53
Ch. 5 Control over Goods and the Political Stability of the Moundville Chiefdom 69
Ch. 6 Platform-Mound Construction and the Instability of Mississippian Chiefdoms 92
Ch. 7 Mississippian Political Dynamics in the Oconee Valley, Georgia 128
Ch. 8 Chiefly Cycling and Large-Scale Abandonments as Viewed from the Savannah River Basin 150
Ch. 9 Stability and Change in the Apalachee Chiefdom 192
Ch. 10 Fluctuations between Simple and Complex Chiefdoms: Cycling in the Late Prehistoric Southeast 231
References 253
Contributors 313
Index 315
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